Comments (54)

Dec 25, 2011

Pro tip: don't use liars poker as anything but pure entertainment.

Dec 25, 2011

a good paying and stable job today is nothing to look down on

    • 1
Dec 25, 2011
PTS:

a good paying and stable job today is nothing to look down on

This

Dec 25, 2011

still true today, even more true.

Dec 28, 2011

There are some good ER jobs at hedge funds in Dallas. If I recall, the book was talking about equity sales, not equity research, which are two totally different things.

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Dec 28, 2011

As an above poster said, the quote refers to Equities sales, not ER. If all you want to know is about the prestige, then no, equity research in Dallas isn't as "prestigious" in the finance community as, say Goldman TMT. BUT WHO GIVES A FUCK. If you want to do ER, doing it in Dallas at a BB is a damn good place to do it. Guess what else? Everybody else that works there don't give a fuck (well, some probably do) and the first year analysts in NYC aren't going to take time off to leave their cubicles, fly down in their private jets, and point and laugh at you in your cubicle.

NOBODY GIVES A FUCK. If you like it, do it. If you don't, don't. If you want the exit ops, then prestige within a SPECIFIC finance community (whether its hedge funds, banking, trading, etc) has some pull. For example, if you want to go to KKR, you won't get there from ER in Dallas. Have an idea of where you want to go, figure out what you need/are willing to do to get there, and then do it. If it's "equities in Dallas", have at it. If it's an FA rotational program at MSSB, do it. If it's GS TMT, do it. Just do what you want to do, or what you need to do to get where you want to be.

Dec 29, 2011
D M:

As an above poster said, the quote refers to Equities sales, not ER. If all you want to know is about the prestige, then no, equity research in Dallas isn't as "prestigious" in the finance community as, say Goldman TMT. BUT WHO GIVES A FUCK. If you want to do ER, doing it in Dallas at a BB is a damn good place to do it. Guess what else? Everybody else that works there don't give a fuck (well, some probably do) and the first year analysts in NYC aren't going to take time off to leave their cubicles, fly down in their private jets, and point and laugh at you in your cubicle.

NOBODY GIVES A FUCK. If you like it, do it. If you don't, don't. If you want the exit ops, then prestige within a SPECIFIC finance community (whether its hedge funds, banking, trading, etc) has some pull. For example, if you want to go to KKR, you won't get there from ER in Dallas. Have an idea of where you want to go, figure out what you need/are willing to do to get there, and then do it. If it's "equities in Dallas", have at it. If it's an FA rotational program at MSSB, do it. If it's GS TMT, do it. Just do what you want to do, or what you need to do to get where you want to be.

This. And also keep in mind that if you have any entrepreneurial aspirations, Equities in Dallas may not be such a horrible place to start. A good job and a dirt cheap cost of living presents an excellent opportunity to save and invest, what can eventually become a significant amount of seed capital.

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

Feb 16, 2012

Amazing responses, I expected nothing less. Thanks guys!

Feb 16, 2012

Awesome post thanks!

Can you talk a little bit about how you got that lobbying job? and what you were doing? It sounds interesting

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. -Wayne Gretzky. Said by Michael Scott." - Michael Scott

Feb 16, 2012
Short Lucifer:

Awesome post thanks!

Can you talk a little bit about how you got that lobbying job? and what you were doing? It sounds interesting

Hey. Thanks for taking the time to read the post. I got the lobbying job by applying. I have a decent bit of experience working on campaigns and I spent the summer before college interning for a politician. The Financial Services group at my firm was the weakest division and when I started talking to the IR woman interviewing me about all the financial products I understood (and she looked at me like I was speaking chinese) I knew I was money. So the firm was considered one of the top white shoe lobbying firms in DC. I don't want to give the name because it would connect too many dots on linkedin. We represented a variety of interests from Fortune 100 companies to countries to non profits. One client I had was a multi billion dollar hedge fund with a large derivative position. I would keep them updated on legislative developments as well as trying to shape legislation for their benefit ex. blurring the definition of an end-user ect. The Firm really did everything from advising labor unions how best to apply political pressure to cabinet members facing an important decision, to helping clients identify eligibility for federal funding, to advising sovereign wealth funds on politically sensitive investments in the US. Ignoring the 4 partners, employees made between 60-500k a year based upon their perceived value and the size of their accounts. The firm made almost $20m one year.

Feb 16, 2012

interdasting

Feb 16, 2012
thedude:

It's extremely unlikely I (or anyone with my job) is going to be worth a bazillion dollars ever. I am a salesmen.

It would be good for us youngsters if you could explain this one. I have seen S&T guys on messageboards defend institutional sales to death (versus IBK), arguing that the bonus potential is huge. Why is this not true? Isn't S&T meritocratic?

Feb 16, 2012
bortz911:
thedude:

It's extremely unlikely I (or anyone with my job) is going to be worth a bazillion dollars ever. I am a salesmen.

It would be good for us youngsters if you could explain this one. I have seen S&T guys on messageboards defend institutional sales to death (versus IBK), arguing that the bonus potential is huge. Why is this not true? Isn't S&T meritocratic?

Hey thanks for responding -- I think it matters what you are selling and where you are selling. 1) As an institutional equity salesperson, I am a stock broker for hedge funds. What I am selling is extremely liquid and being sold by any number of much cheaper options. Explained otherwise, people don't have to trade through me at .03 or .05 or .10 a share. The only reason people give me money is if a) they like me and/or b) they think I am value add to their performance. I am not 100% positive but I imagine I could make more as an institutional sales person selling large illiquid mortgage derivatives. The second point addresses where I work. I work for a small institutional research b/d. I don't have 40 analysts and 300 names under coverage that you might find at a bigger bank. Hedge funds can only justify paying me so much because they can only get so much research from me. That wasn't a great answer because I am not really sure which posts you are referring to. It would be within the range of possibility that I could make 7 figures at my current job but I think that's very unlikely -- because I'm not a world class salesman.

As far as it being meritocratic, absolutely. I haven't been doing this for very long. Make almost as much as people working just as long at GS IB. And I work less then half the hours. Lot of people would say that sounds very compelling. (Side Note: I interviewed to work under a Financial Advisor at MSSB in DC named Marvin McIntyre (google if you want). He made like $7 million last year. The potential in financial advisory is huge if you are 1/bazillion. I know a whole lot more financial advisors making 30-50k a year. In almost any meritocracy you can find 1 or two people making it rain).

Feb 16, 2012
bortz911:
thedude:

It's extremely unlikely I (or anyone with my job) is going to be worth a bazillion dollars ever. I am a salesmen.

It would be good for us youngsters if you could explain this one. I have seen S&T guys on messageboards defend institutional sales to death (versus IBK), arguing that the bonus potential is huge. Why is this not true? Isn't S&T meritocratic?

The S&T you are talking about is sales and trading in Fixed Income not in Equities.. In FI institutional you can make quite a lot.

What I mean by quite a lot is if you have 5 good accounts you can pull in anywhere from 50 to 100k a month as a salesman. Now if you work at a regional broker dealer the payout is usually around 45 to 50% of that amount. If you work at a large Ibank you get a % of what you gross per year as bonus.

The one who does not fall, does not stand up

Feb 16, 2012

It's always been interesting to me to see what distinguishes institutional equity folks from each other -- and to see why they want to bother paying the extra cost. Do you feel that funds will continue to be willing to pay the premium for your services for the foreseeable future? How about 20 or 30 years down the road? What sort of innovation do you see in your industry?

Thanks!

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

Feb 16, 2012
UncleMilty:

It's always been interesting to me to see what distinguishes institutional equity folks from each other -- and to see why they want to bother paying the extra cost. Do you feel that funds will continue to be willing to pay the premium for your services for the foreseeable future? How about 20 or 30 years down the road? What sort of innovation do you see in your industry?
Thanks!

I guess you would say what distinguishes our firm 1) our relationship with management. everyone tries to say this but it's only true for a few firms. Our CEO and to a lesser extent the rest of us actually hang out with management of a lot of the companies we cover socially 2) my firm has been around for almost 20 years, my ceo has been around for 30 and is well known in some circles. the "name" is very important because firms pop up and disappear every day 3) the quality of our analysts. some people would swap 2 & 3

What distinguishes a successful salesmen is are you likeable? and are you sharp? can you fool people smarter then you into believing you are smarter then them? Everything else falls behind.

I think we already see that funds won't pay what they used to (weak volume right now isnt helping). I imagine that trend will continue to a lesser extent. There are quite a few studies that have looked into the value of buy/sell/hold ratings and their questionable benefit. I think PM's will always value analysts expertise on a conversational basis. Obviously the crackdown on special networks helps my business but at the same time I see a lot of hedge funds relying more on internal research. Hedge funds continue to pay for access to management for the conceivable future. As long as portfolio managers continue to think they can beat the market by picking stocks, there will be a decent number of them willing to pay someone else to do the dart throwing for them.

Feb 16, 2012

oh your grammar and your spelling ....

Feb 16, 2012

My first internship was at a $700 AUM fundamental value asset manager/hedge fund

LOL you mean $700 MM right

Feb 16, 2012

Bravo

+1

Feb 16, 2012

Great post, I'm curious about comp ; what do 50th, 75th, top 10% percentile earners make as salesman?
Also, have you ever compared the career to PE Business Development - any thought?

Feb 16, 2012
manopete:

Great post, I'm curious about comp ; what do 50th, 75th, top 10% percentile earners make as salesman?
Also, have you ever compared the career to PE Business Development - any thought?

Thanks. The first is a tough question because it all depends on the firm. Lot's of small pop up firms you are just basically cold calling pm's wondering how you are going to pay rent next month. My firm has been around long enough where no calls are ever that cold. I have a list of 100 hf's that used to pay us and don't anymore simply because their salesperson is no longer here and the current people don't have any more bandwidth. I would say half of green people who might look like a good fit at my firm wouldn't be able to crack 100k. In the glory years, several people at my firm made +500k and I know at least one person made 7 figs. The business is different. If you work for a top bank I imagine you can make an ok salary even if you suck.

Never thought about how my job compares to PE Business Development but I would be interested if someone else has.

GoodBread:

Very cool. When you say you could run a solid PA, do you mean you could actually live off yours?

Unfortunately no. I just mean I don't really think people have a clue how to invest/trade... even people that have been pretty active in the markets in their etrade account. I feel confident now in my ability to crank out steady returns which should benefit me the rest of my life.

n1cktm:

Are you the same thedude from xtremesystems? I remember posting there when I was looking to build a pc

no haha.

trade4size:

Seems like the OP here certainly fits the mold of a typical salestrader. Being in the same position myself its crazy to see how different at different shops have totally different attitudes/values. Overall would say this is how the average salestrader lives. There is of course always another story to be told.

Im not a salestrader actually. Just sales. I'd be curious to know if your firm has completely different values. Share.

Cmoss:

Good Post, thank you

You're welcome. Thanks for reading.

Walkerr:

Great post, thanks for explaining your career steps in detailed.
I was also interested reading about the lobbying position you had. I was thinking of going into lobbying if M&A doesn't work out. I know the two are quite different. Do you have any tips on entering the lobbying world? What qualifications are needed (i'm studying finance now), what do firms look for?
And last, how is the lobbying world?
Thanks!

Thanks. The lobbying business is pretty difficult to jump into and make a big splash. The real thing they are looking for is connections so the best way -- unfortunately -- is be do a stint working for the government. Retired politicians, legislative directors, senior staff members on committees, senior staff members to cabinet secretaries, campaign finance chairs ect ect ect are going to be the people that really have the upper hand. If you really want to start from lobbying and work your way up, I recommend that you work on your cocktail party skills and have an expertise in an industry -- though not necessary. It's like banking, if you want to be a revenue generator -- you need to be likeable and have an expertise, if you want to work in a support capacity (at least for the time being) you primarily just need to work hard. The most valuable degree to break into lobbying would be a JD.
The lobbying world is great. The more the government tries to change things (reform) the more businesses get scared and want to fight it and have a say in how tomorrow will look.

Feb 16, 2012

Very cool. When you say you could run a solid PA, do you mean you could actually live off yours?

Feb 16, 2012

Are you the same thedude from xtremesystems? I remember posting there when I was looking to build a pc

Feb 16, 2012

Seems like the OP here certainly fits the mold of a typical salestrader. Being in the same position myself its crazy to see how different at different shops have totally different attitudes/values. Overall would say this is how the average salestrader lives. There is of course always another story to be told.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

Feb 16, 2012

Good Post, thank you

Feb 16, 2012

Great post, thanks for explaining your career steps in detailed.

I was also interested reading about the lobbying position you had. I was thinking of going into lobbying if M&A doesn't work out. I know the two are quite different. Do you have any tips on entering the lobbying world? What qualifications are needed (i'm studying finance now), what do firms look for?
And last, how is the lobbying world?

Thanks!

Feb 16, 2012

Great post and a great insight into a role that I particularly didn't like in my experience. I can safely say its not a job for me although I do have some questions.

I have very rarely come across an equity salesperson who liked what they did. That being said, those who did, loved it and did very well.

What do you offer your clients that the bigger brokerage houses/IBs cant? I am guessing its probably the more personal coverage or maybe not lol? View would be much appreciated.

I remember the FICC guys used to bash the equity salespeople day in and day out and commented on the lack of any real exit ops. In reality, for someone who either finds themselves out of work or is looking to change direction a little, what can they realistically look to get into?

Feb 16, 2012
Rumplesmoothspin:

Great post and a great insight into a role that I particularly didn't like in my experience. I can safely say its not a job for me although I do have some questions.

What do you offer your clients that the bigger brokerage houses/IBs cant? I am guessing its probably the more personal coverage or maybe not lol? View would be much appreciated.

I remember the FICC guys used to bash the equity salespeople day in and day out and commented on the lack of any real exit ops. In reality, for someone who either finds themselves out of work or is looking to change direction a little, what can they realistically look to get into?

Thanks. We offer a more personal experience I would say. I don't live in NYC and my firm covers all of the local businesses (fortunately some hedge fund favorites). We are the go to firm for analysis on those companies and also because our relationship with their management we get the CEO's for a lot of marketing trips. My boss is also a world class salesmen/partier. We have more then a few clients that pay us because they like to hang out with us when we go to NYC. Getting them trashed and then laid is a pretty safe sales strategy. Fortunately I am young and my exit ops are pretty strong application for graduate school. I think any job that is more sales and less analytical are in your exit cards.

Feb 16, 2012

Great post.

I had never heard of Alpha Capture until I read your post, how exactly does it work?

You mentioned having to be invited, so I'm guessing you need some sort of track record; what's more important to get invited, having a strong resume or having actually executed successful trades on your own?

How do the payouts work? Can you provided names of a few of these programs?

Thanks

Feb 16, 2012

Fantastic post!!! Made my day today when i signed on to WSO.

Feb 16, 2012

You mention the comp model for Sales assuming the Salesman worked on commission. What about pay for salesmen who work for mid-market/large banks?

Also, I sent you a PM.

Great post! Thanks.

Feb 16, 2012

Ok so if you are just sales when you get orders are you relaying them to the traders? I cant imagine the traders at a shop like that stay very busy at all as you definitely dont have monster flow. i am trying to figure out what shop you are with but im pretty stumped.

As much as I would love to post more I just am not comfortable and I have probably already said too much. I am sure we have some mutual clients as well which makes thing interesting.

Have you had any luck with Vanilla asset managers at places with say 500mm-2bln AUM?

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

Feb 16, 2012
trade4size:

Ok so if you are just sales when you get orders are you relaying them to the traders? I cant imagine the traders at a shop like that stay very busy at all as you definitely dont have monster flow. i am trying to figure out what shop you are with but im pretty stumped.
As much as I would love to post more I just am not comfortable and I have probably already said too much. I am sure we have some mutual clients as well which makes thing interesting.
Have you had any luck with Vanilla asset managers at places with say 500mm-2bln AUM?

Our sales traders are not very busy... sigh... Our revenue is now 2 to 1, checks to trades.
Not much luck with the vanilla asset managers outside our local ones. Ill send anyone research if they ask me to but I only really call them when I have company management in town. I have local guys with 30mm AUM as paying clients. I accept all payments... no matter how small.

    • 1
Feb 16, 2012

What do you think is your next step?

I banana back

Feb 16, 2012
Hoogerman:

What do you think is your next step?

Good question. I have days where I don't like my job but I am in a nice sweet spot here where I make an income that is acceptable for my age and I love my hours. I think if I leave this current job it will be to get a masters.

Gate_Crasher:

Good Stuff.
Will read your book as long as it goes into details and motivates one.
Thank you

Thanks.

Gate_Crasher:

Do you get paid a base salary or do you get paid purely on a commission basis ?
Thank you

You would typically be on 100% commissions with a draw at my firm which is basically a minimum you are guaranteed to get paid -- but then have to pay back the difference when you do make commission. I receive a small base in addition to commissions because I perform some managerial duties.

TraderDaily:

What do you read in the morning before your day gets started? Financial Times?

I flip on the tv... crunch through a ton of blast emails... then I read blogs and some news websites. I don't usually read FT.com till after the morning rush.

TraderDaily:

You said you sometimes get to work on capital raising and M&A. Could you elaborate more on this side of your job and how a typical day works as it relates to this, especially for M&A?

Keep in mind I said we are the bottom feeders of the investment banking world. I personally don't really work on M&A anymore now that I am heading up our sales efforts. We have 3 people that are dedicated investment bankers right now which do that. As far as capital raises go it pretty much is what it sounds like. A business comes to us needing capital, we value the business, and try to get it for them however we think best. As how I could be involved in that process, I could source the business (finders fee) or I could sell the deal to my network of contacts. At the lower end, we could agree to do a $2m Series A in 100k units and I could simply call up any of the PM's I know and recommend that they buy 1 or 2 for their PA. On the higher end we are raising 10-20mm part of a larger syndicate and getting funds to directly invest. Because of our size, that sort of thing usually comes by way of connections where a friend of the firm agrees to give us a piece. We get in the selling group of ipo's and secondary offerings occasionally...

acelion:

Hey thedude,
Is it possible you can pm me the fundamental value hedge fund you worked for? I am interested in working for a fundamental value firm. Thank you for doing this. It has been insightful.

The firm is small enough where they could instantly put my name with them. You should be able to find them with a minimal amount of googling. They are sort of like cults.

TraderDaily:

What does an Equity Salesman do the first two years at a bank? I'm assuming that the first two years you don't have direct client responsibility.

I am not really the best person to answer this question.

    • 1
Feb 16, 2012

Good Stuff.

Will read your book as long as it goes into details and motivates one.

Thank you

Feb 16, 2012

Do you get paid a base salary or do you get paid purely on a commission basis ?

Thank you

Feb 16, 2012

What do you read in the morning before your day gets started? Financial Times?

Feb 16, 2012

You said you sometimes get to work on capital raising and M&A. Could you elaborate more on this side of your job and how a typical day works as it relates to this, especially for M&A?

Feb 16, 2012

Hey thedude,

Is it possible you can pm me the fundamental value hedge fund you worked for? I am interested in working for a fundamental value firm. Thank you for doing this. It has been insightful.

Feb 16, 2012

What does an Equity Salesman do the first two years at a bank? I'm assuming that the first two years you don't have direct client responsibility.

Feb 16, 2012

Hi thedude,

Why do you want to work in equities when in fixed income, you could as some other poster mentioned, make around 600K to 1.2 million roughly per year in fixed income sales? I can understand your liking equities, but that kind of money sounds too good to turn down. Why not fixed income?

Feb 16, 2012
TraderDaily:

Hi thedude,
Why do you want to work in equities when in fixed income, you could as some other poster mentioned, make around 600K to 1.2 million roughly per year in fixed income sales? I can understand your liking equities, but that kind of money sounds too good to turn down. Why not fixed income?

Reread the beginning of my first post. Why would I be an institutional equity sales person if I could make $500k as a fixed income sales person? Why would I do that if I could be a banker and make +$1m a year? Why would I do that if I could be a hedge fund PM and make +$3m a year? These are silly questions. Almost at every step of my life I have taken what I considered to be the best opportunity for me at the time. Now I am in a place where I could probably go after a high profile job in NYC... but I don't need to or want to.

    • 1
Feb 16, 2012

While I respect your post, it's worth pointing out that Inst Sales (IS) people are parasites typically with low IQ. 98% of IS people cut and paste analyst work and forward it on to clients without any knowledge of the analysis to achieve such conclusions. They do not understand the business they are covering and they are exactly what the OP said, they are Salesmen just like a car salesmen or pharma rep; and I mean that literally. They are usually SEC/Div1 school types who never studied anything of value in college. Once they cant answer the basic client questions, they start scrambling for analyst to make a call or IM. Sales people have no real skill other than asking "whats the read thru for company x?" and "can you read thru my notes from the road to see if they make sense?"

Yes you have good hours because you are not a real professional and you only copy the work of others; you only work off the back of other actual wall street professionals.

    • 4
Feb 16, 2012
Aston Gekko:

While I respect your post, it's worth pointing out that Inst Sales (IS) people are parasites typically with low IQ. 98% of IS people cut and paste analyst work and forward it on to clients without any knowledge of the analysis to achieve such conclusions. They do not understand the business they are covering and they are exactly what the OP said, they are Salesmen just like a car salesmen or pharma rep; and I mean that literally. They are usually SEC/Div1 school types who never studied anything of value in college. Once they cant answer the basic client questions, they start scrambling for analyst to make a call or IM. Sales people have no real skill other than asking "whats the read thru for company x?" and "can you read thru my notes from the road to see if they make sense?"

Yes you have good hours because you are not a real professional and you only copy the work of others; you only work off the back of other actual wall street professionals.

Wow, is that really necessary?

Feb 16, 2012

good read

what year did you graduate?

Feb 16, 2012
Comment
Feb 16, 2012
Feb 16, 2012